National Girl Child Day is observed every year in India on January 24, to promote awareness about the rights of a girl child; and this is also aimed at promoting their education, health, nutrition and most importantly, their independence. Today, the growing population, the fall in the number of job opportunities, coupled with the COVID induced stress on the Indian economy, make entrepreneurship even more pivotal for growth. For young individuals, it has become an alternative to satisfy their career needs and earn them a decent and much-wanted living. Seeing the situation of India’s developing economy, there is a dire need to come up with an alternative that would not only help fight the problems of unemployment but would also help the economy in strengthening its footing against the developed economies and become sustainable.
India celebrates National Youth Day on January 12. This date was chosen to honour the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, one of India’s greatest spiritual and social leaders, who saw hope for the future in every child and believed that with “muscles of iron” and “nerves of steel” they could bring about social change. Swami himself personified the eternal energy of the youth and a restless quest for truth. This thought propagated by Swami, is extremely relevant today, as it proves that training the youth, especially to take up entrepreneurial activities is a golden opportunity to build the economy back better.
Youth are undoubtedly, the backbone of a nation who through their energy and passion bring out the dramatic alterations in a nation and the way it functions. We are fortunate as today, almost 50 percent of India’s population is under the age of 25. The future of the country rides on their shoulders. Reminiscing the words of Franklin. D. Roosevelt, who said that we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future, it is important that we strive to build back the economy through adequate skilling and education of the youth. In fact, proper entrepreneurial education, upskilling and right-skilling the youth should be a strategic twin priority for our nation, academia, and leadership alike.
The effects of the pandemic, coupled with the rise of emerging technologies, have necessitated students to become skilled and adapt themselves to be productive, efficient, and relevant in the dynamic workplace of the future. Demands for new skills is on the rise, therefore providing appropriate entrepreneurial education, upskilling/reskilling as well as attracting a more diverse ecosystem is now peremptory to enrich the talent pool of our nation.
However, as we say, it’s easier said than done. The process of entrepreneurship from the day of inception of the idea is a long one having its own share of problems and challenges. The lack of resources, knowledge, accurate information, legal complications and negative societal environment make the process more tedious and painful. These problems discourage many young individuals from taking up the opportunity due to fear of losing and falling into a financial crunch. To utilize their talent to the best, proper avenues and opportunities for entrepreneurial education, appropriate policy measures and motivation mechanisms are needed to channelize their energy in the right direction towards the right goal. Also, we must remember to sensitize them towards our collective needs and existence – thus, adding the much-needed humane touch, which will make our future entrepreneurs, true human-being first!
Dalai Lama – While educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.